The Dreaded Track Workout

After a long day of work today, I was determined to work out with my group.  Yesterday, I didn’t go to core class out of sheer exhaustion, then felt guilty for the rest of the night that I didn’t go.  If I don’t have a workout scheduled, I don’t have any problem being a sloth.  But if I skip a scheduled workout, I feel guilty, and realize that usually I would have felt better had I gone.

I’ve determined that the trick is not to come home first.  In the summer, that’s not a problem, because it’s bright and sunny until like 9 o’clock. So even if I do come home, I want to go back outside. But in the winter, it gets dark before 6, and all I want to do is cuddle on the couch and not move ever.  The weather has been wet and drizzly and depressing for the past two weeks, which is definitely conducive to sloth behavior.

I’m going to make a quick detour from my story here to tell you that I’m not doing a marathon in February. It bummed me out to make that decision, but I had to face the facts.  When I finished mine last month, I remember feeling really grateful that I had trained so hard because that marathon took every ounce of training I had put into it.  I took about a good month off from hard training, which is what you’re supposed to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still been running; last week, I averaged about 17 or 18 miles total.  But I am not up to the long runs I’m supposed to be doing for real training.  With my schedule for the next couple of weekends, let’s face it – I’m going to run, but it’s not going to be a fifteen miler, especially by myself.  I would basically have a month of hard mileage before starting to taper.  The longest run I’ve done since the marathon is maybe 7 or 8 miles.  I just don’t think I’ll be prepared for the February marathon, especially with its brutal, hilly course course.

It took that whole paragraph to tell you that A. I’m still doing a half marathon in February and B. I’m still going to train for my half marathon with the marathon running group because I’m crazy like that.

So anyway, tonight I went on a run with my marathon training group. Before starting the run, I figured I’d take it easy tonight.  I did a long run on Sunday and wasn’t looking to go crazy with this run with speed or mileage.  But when I walked inside the store, my coach said, “It’s a track workout tonight.”

I haven’t run on the track in like 2 years.  I hate the track so, so much.  In terms of my petty hatred scale, it ranks up there with liver and onions, and Barry Manilow songs. I detest the monotony of running in a circle.  I want to see SCENERY when I run, and I especially don’t want to know exactly how many meters I have left until the finish line.  Even though my last marathon training plan had track workouts scheduled, I didn’t do them. YEAH, I SAID IT.

I also don’t like running fast. So, there’s that.

My friend and I ran to the track, which is about a mile and a half away. Once we arrived at the track, our coach gave us the workout – we had to do three sets of 1600 meters (1 mile), and we had to do them fast.

My mind decided to cop out early.  “Yeah,” I thought. “I’m only doing two.”

My friend is like a gazelle, so she was way ahead of me ten seconds into the run.  Normally, I’m a fairly competitive runner, but I was okay with this.  By the fourth lap, I was nearly wheezing.  I felt so out of shape.  “How fast did I do it in?” I asked my friend.  She said 7:40.  That may be slow to a lot of you, but it’s fast for me, okay?!

The next mile was not good.  I finished it in 8:08.  “I’m done,” I told my friend.  Even though I felt physically good, I was just being lazy.  “Run a half with me?” she asked. “Why not,” I said, and started running. Naturally, she sped ahead of me.  My body was like, “Screw this,” and was about to stop after one lap.  But when I got to the finish line, my coach was standing there.  “Go Jennifer, keep going!” he said, giving me a high five. What was I supposed to do, stop?

So I kept running. I finished it in 8 minutes flat.  My legs were like, “Cool, so we’re done, right?”

My coach then said, “Alright! Cool down mile!”

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

But then he said, “We can run this really slow.”  And we did.  Track workouts suck, but you know what? I need speed workouts, and I want to catch up to my friend by the end of the training.  That’s probably way too ambitious, but that’s going to be my goal.

So by the time the evening was over with,  I ran about 5.5 miles.  That was way more than I was intending to run tonight.

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4 thoughts on “The Dreaded Track Workout

  1. good for you! at least it was a 1/4 mile track, only 4 times around, i ran on shorter tracks in high school and those tracks sucked

    • Thanks! Oh yeah, I know what you mean. I had a track like that in college….I think it was 6 laps for a mile? Those REALLY suck. One time, I was crazy enough to run 5 miles on it…I don’t know what the hell was wrong with me. LOL.

  2. That’s great that you managed to ignore your nat impulse to end early. I battle with that when I run alone, usually around my neighborhood. Congrats on pulling through!

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